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Conquering Trail 3

Warm weather has lingered longer into this autumn than it normally does, and my sons and I had been talking about ways we could enjoy it while it lasts. When one of my sons said, “We haven’t been to Turkey Run yet this year,” we knew we’d found the right outing. It’s a tradition that we make at least one annual trip to Turkey Run State Park to hike the trails, and our window for making this year’s trip was closing quickly. So the very next Saturday the boys were here, so we drove out and spent the afternoon. And this time, we conquered Trail 3.

Turkey Run

By state park standards, Trail 3 is very rugged. Much of it runs along a creek bed in a canyon. Where the canyon is wide, it’s a pleasant stroll. Where the canyon narrows, you either walk through the creek and soak your shoes or inch your way along a rock ledge. The elevation changes significantly in a few places, but the steps and ladders the state has installed mean you can leave your climbing gear at home. But all in all Trail 3 demands balance and agility.

Turkey Run

We had never completed Trail 3 before. We tried it on our first trip several years ago, but when we reached the ladders my acrophobic older son announced that he would not be climbing them. But this time he thought he might be up for the ladders, and he did fine.

Turkey Run

We’ve always visited Turkey Run in the spring or summer, but this trip showed us that autumn is the time to visit. The place was just gorgeous with all the trees in their fall colors.

Turkey Run

I got through Trail 3 without soaking my shoes, but I didn’t manage that last time. Read that story.

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Road Trips, Stories Told

Wet feet at Turkey Run

My boys and I made our more-or-less annual trek to Turkey Run State Park the other day. We couldn’t have had better weather – sunny and 80.

Even though I’ve made countless trips to Turkey Run State Park over the past 20 years, and have therefore received countless trail maps at the entrance, this was the first time I noticed the spot labeled “Old Highway Bridge” on the map. So of course we went looking for it. Trail 6 takes you right under it. I’ve never had this kind of view of a bridge before!

Turkey Run trip

Trail 6 is in and along the creek after which the park gets its name. I was in my own little world snapping shots of this bridge when shplorp! I learned that a Saucony Grid Jazz 2006 running shoe can soak up a considerable amount of water.

Trail 11 carries you over the bridge, which was built in 1914. That’s two years before this land became a state park. I am very curious to know what road this bridge carried, but the Internet is silent on the matter.

Update 3 Sept 2010: I have learned that this bridge carried an early alignment of State Road 47. Bridgehunter.com has some details.

Turkey Run trip

My sons indulged my bridgehunting for a short time but soon wanted to move along. We came to Sunset Point and took in the view of Sugar Creek.

Turkey Run trip

We also became acquainted, in a way, with one Carl Crune of Purdue’s Class of 1915.

Turkey Run trip

My sons wanted to follow Trail 10, so we crossed the suspension bridge and were on our way.

Turkey Run trip

Trail 10 is just a walk in the woods, but it empties out into the rocks and running water of Trail 3. Check out this view.

Turkey Run trip

The jutting formation on the left is called Wedge Rock.

Turkey Run trip

Both of my shoes were soaked by the time we got out of here!

Turkey Run trip

It was a pretty busy weekday at the park. Wet feet all around!

Turkey Run trip

ReadMore Turkey Run is in Parke County, the covered bridge capital of the world. Read about my favorite Parke County bridge.

Turkey Run is in Parke County, the covered bridge capital of the world. Read about my favorite Parke County bridge.
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